Doctor errors and other health care mistakes are a significant problem in the United States. According to Forbes, 200,000 people die annually due to medical malpractice, yet its victims who survive often face an uphill battle in seeking recourse. That does not mean that it is impossible or that you should not seek justice, though. In fact, the opposite is true: the more people who come forward, the more change will be made to encourage accountability in health care. If you are courageous enough to speak up, you should be prepared to furnish several pieces of evidence in your claim. These four are particularly important to supporting claims of medical malpractice.
Establishment of relationship between doctor and patient
The first item which must be established in order to prove medical malpractice is verifiable existence of a relationship between the doctor and the patient. This typically entails an agreement made by the doctor to provide treatment and medical care to you, identified as the patient. In establishing this relationship, the doctor is then obligated to provide diligent and appropriate treatment.
Proof of negligent or harmful care
Once you have established the relationship between yourself and your doctor, you must establish that the care provided was in some way negligent or harmful. The general method for proving this is comparison to other medical providers’ practices and determining whether your doctor acted in line with generally accepted medical treatments. If not, and if the treatment was ultimately harmful, you may have a medical malpractice case.
Evidence of any resultant injuries sustained
If you can establish that your doctor provided care which deviated from standard procedure, you must then prove that this error harmed you in some way. If, for example, your surgeon operated on the wrong leg, you might easily prove that this harmed your leg which did not need treatment. In addition to physical injuries, you should document emotional and mental consequences of the medical error.
Damages caused by negligence on the part of the doctor
Lastly, you should prove the existence of damages which are the result and responsibility of the doctor. You may have missed work due to receiving harmful care, or you might have been forced to seek out additional care at an additional cost. In either case, you should document your damages in order to support your case and seek recourse for the trauma caused by medical malpractice.
If you have been wrongfully treated by a medical professional, you should research your legal options. Contacting an attorney is a great way to better understand the available recourse.